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This portrait depicts my wife Nicole ‘Cole’ Rodriquez and our poodle, Sitges España Rodwyler. Cole is Mexican-American and grew up in Arizona. The background features saguaro cacti, which are native only to the Sonoran Desert in the American Southwest.
Cole often dances around the house nude. On this occasion, she was two-stepping past my studio door to a Willie Nelson tune. I asked her to stop so I could snap a quick photo, and naturally Sitges wanted to make a cameo appearance. The painting – which I find comical – hangs in our living room, and visitors each tend to see a different meaning behind Sitges’ gaze.
Kim Leutwyler, 2017